TL;DR: I had an artblock so i browsed the internet and got inspired to keep a sketch-diary and use fountain pens.
At the end of last year i was working on getting faster and more effective with my (mainly digital) drawing. And i actually felt big improvement and i also felt that i am starting to have a style that i enjoy. But when i returned home in january, after a week of visiting family and not drawing, the improvement, the style, all was gone, like last few months didn't exist. This discouraged me from (digital) drawing. With my other common negative thoughts added later, i was not able to draw anything for some time.
But i still felt the need to create, so i made:rdln.shy.cz/
- a tool that lets you "redline" a picture without the need of downloading it. (i haven't used it yet, but i remember wishing for such tool several times in the past)demium.shy.cz/
- collaborative drawing place. i should have expected that because it is anonymous, it will look like a public bathroom door - genitalia, religious and political symbols, and so on. but there are some people who would draw something nice, even when they are anonymous.
I don't remember how exactly it happened, but i watched some videos about fountain pens. It reminded me of when i was six and got a fountain pen for school, but my teacher forbid me to use it, because we had to use another type of pen. So i used it to draw instead. I was curious whether there are some artists using fountain pens and i found Liz Steel www.lizsteel.com/
. And i was captivated by her sketches. What i like most about them is that they are imperfect and this imperfection makes them beautiful, it sounds like a common phrase and i knew it before, but i discovered another level of it when i looked at her sketches. And i absolutely love the cups www.lizsteel.com/portfolio/tea…
. I never thought i would appreciate such useless dust catchers and when i looked at photos of the cups, i really didn't appreciate them. But i was constantly admiring their painted versions from fairytale dream. And another common knowledge dawned on me - this is what an artist does. I read about how she is making quick sketches during the day and i thought that that's something i could do. To sketch something i see in front of me when i am waiting or traveling and hope that it will help me improve my non existent skill of drawing what i see.
So i made a little travel watercolor palette from a tiny metal box (i painted the inside with white acrylics), where i squeezed four colors. I was more excited about it then when i bought 20 color set. And when i went to Grees19
's concert, i painted what was in front of me on a train, in a restaurant, while waiting in the town and during the concert. All the drawings were really terrible, but it is a unique memory and since it was just a beginning of summer, i thought i'd like to have a diary of drawings from my summer travels.
I enjoyed working with the 4 color palette, but i also wanted to capture the things i see quickly (mainly when i was drawing from a slowly moving train) and i realized that by the time i mix the color, it's already too late. So i made a 12 color palette from a tobacco box. Usually my sketches take 10 - 30 minutes, but sometimes there is time only for quick splash of colors, other times i waited for a train for more than hour and it didn't annoy me, because it wasn't nearly enough time to draw everything interesting at the station.
Here are some examples:
I was still excited about using a fountain pen again, so I bought an old centropen at a flea market and ordered ink samples from ebay. At first i thought i want a waterproof ink, so i can use it with watercolors like i would use a liner, but then i discovered how interesting things can happen when water is used to shade the picture, like here:
I also bought a few cheap waterbrushes, some were useless and some i filled with diluted ink, but didn't have time to use them very much yet (i'll write something about them later, if you are interested). I also wanted a second pen for different ink, i decided on noodlers ahab and luckily, after some time, i found a seller from europe. After few days of frustration, it is now an instrument which is pleasure to use. And that is important - for some time now, in order to get more effective with my drawing, i wanted to draw only in pen, no pencil, no erasing. But this effort is not enjoyable, it is stressful and there is no nice result to look at. With a tool, that i enjoy using, the process is enjoyable and the result doesn't matter. Here are some of my pencilless drawing from this weekend, so you have something to laugh at:
What about you? Do you carry a sketchbook or a notebook, so you can do something creative while waiting, or capture thing that you want to remember? Or do you go outside with the intention to draw your surrounding? How do people react when they see you drawing? (I was drawing my favorite train station in Suchdol nad Odrou when an older man started talking to me about the value of spontaneous art that is not made for money and than he sang for me about my beautiful eyes and artistic soul
). Have you tried drawing directly with pen? Did it help you improve? Do you use fountain pens for anything? What inks do you like?